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I have an elderly uncle living me, I work and care for him but also have a home health care aid who cares for him about 70% of the time. He has become very close to her which I am fine with and glad that he has her as a companion.The problem is she has been with us so long, that she sometimes acts as thought this is her home and seems to resent the fact that I am her employer. Recently I caught her deliberately attempting to do something against specific instructions I gave her.
I didn't directly confront her about it. Instead I just left her note telling her I was disappointed that it happened and indicated that if I asked her do something she was uncomfortable with to let me know so I could address the situation myself. (I guess I thought this was how to let her know I was upset with what happened and did not want it to happen again without telling her I know she deliberately went against my directives as her employer.)
To make a long story short, she became irate and accused me of “thinking she was beneath me and that she is stupid” (her words). I think she did this to distract me from reprimanding her and make me feel as though I did something wrong by giving her orders/instructions for caring for my uncle over the years. (Because if you knew me you would know I could never feel that way about anyone, it is just not my nature. Also if I did think she was “stupid” she would not be working for us.)
This happened a couple of months ago and has created great tension at home. I myself constantly thinking about the things she said and have lost a certain amount of trust in her. Mostly because I feel she went against my instructions and then lied and maliciously tried to cover up what she did. The problem is my uncle really likes her otherwise I would have fired her on the spot.
My work will also cause me to travel so I had hired an agency to provide another aid to cover my shifts with my uncle. After I did this my uncle was a little confused and asked me if I was getting rid of her. I told that was not my intention but I am not happy with her (we did not have time talk more at that time). I plan to let him know that I would have fired her before but did not because of him. But that she needs to watch her attitude because if I ever feel she is not carrying out or bypassing my instructions and/or if she ever speaks to me that way again. I will fire her.
Now I find myself resenting her presence. I can barely speak with her without becoming angry. Tension is very high in the house now. So how do you handle working with an aid that you no longer have respect for and now dislike, but know that if you fired her it would break your uncles heart?

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Handling the care for someone is stressful enough, you really don't need it, sure your uncle may like her, but she is working in your home, caring for your uncle, you are the boss. If she became irate to you over something that she did knowingly against your wishes, not good - had she said sorry and tried to correct it - then you and she could have had a workable relationship. Your comment mentions her lying and being malicious, that would do it for me - I would can her and find someone else that both you and your uncle can like and work with. You have no respect for her - for good reason and she has none for you - or she would have respected your directives, it won't get better, in fact since she has managed to "get away with it" it will happen again.
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I think you need to ditch the aide. Pronto.
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I believe I would approach her with "We need to talk about the tension between us over the last two months. I want you to know that my uncle is very fond of you and I trust you with his care. But we got off on the wrong foot a few weeks back and we need to clear the air. I don't think your are beneath me nor do I think you are stupid. If I did, you wouldn't be working here. But when I need something done, I expect it to be done. I need to know I can rely on you to carry out needs and instructions."
That should leave the ball in her court. Don't argue with her. This conversation needs to be done in a civil tone. You can do this.
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Thanks I will. This is how I was feeling but I guess I needed reinforcement as to the right way to go. My uncle is very easy going but I will let him know that too as easy as possible so God forbid it comes to that he will understand why.

I will also try not to let myself get angry when I have to interact with her. Thanks again for your help.
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I'm a nurse in home healthcare and I have seen this before. Aides who work for a family long enough can sometimes begin to feel that the home in which they work is their "territory". Or they know that the person adores them and they feel very secure in that.

I fear that there will be no fixing this rift between you and the aide but it is your uncle's home, you are family, and you have to feel comfortable with whoever is in the home. You have to. No bones about that.

If she is still doing her job well try to let it go for now....see what happens. But she is not the boss---you are, and your uncle is. If she is defiant and does not follow your direction you'll have to fire her. She is an employee. She's not there to tickle your uncle's fancy, this is her job. If she won't perform the functions of the job she'll have to go.
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